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THE PROLETARIAT- Marketplace 7″ (Homestead Records, USA, 1985)

“Use photography as weapon”, said the famous agitprop artist John Heartfield in the late 1920s. “Use rhythm as weapon” could be the motto of Boston’s legendary THE PROLETARIAT. The incredible songs on the “This is Boston not L.A.” sampler already pulsated in an almost post-punkish way, though still heavily on the punkier side of things, but from there on, the band had found its formula: Just as the MINUTEMEN are Hardcore without sounding like your cliché 1-2-3-4-go band, the PROLETARIAT managed to get a sound of their own that is by all means – Hardcore! Of their own? Well, I’d say they just took Gang Of Four (“Entertainment”) and made them sound like a Hardcore band. The “Distortion” tape and especially the oh-so-overlooked “Soma Holiday” LP hit you like a rock. The prayer-mill vocals with constantly repeated song lines and the guitar staccato go together perfectly. If you haven’t already, you must buy the discography double CD available from Taang!

On this first and only and thus last 7″ of theirs, they put two songs from the second LP “Homeland”. Compared to “Soma Holiday”, it’s a bit more accessible and the song “Marketplace” is the über-hit among them tracks! I rarely choose the word “anthem” to describe a song, but in this case it seems only appropriate. “Marketplace” has it all: A perfect build-up, tension, atmosphere, anger and heart. What I always respected about the Proles lyrics was that they didn’t forget to sing about everyday’s life, about poverty and misery right in front of the house door, instead of only talking in schemes. That makes “Marketplace” (or at that, for instance, TOXIC REASON’s “Break the Bank” – the only other song I know that has this exact feeling!) last much longer than for instance the typical crust-sloganeering. One of the few song lyrics I memorized from a to z long time ago and still know by heart. The b-side with “Death of a Hedon” is again more in the typical PROLETARIAT vein, with repetition and milling – another great song!

Oh yes – that’s a price sticker tear on the front cover. Fuck capitalism!

Death of a Hedon.mp3